The best books of 2021 (so far), The Times, 15th October 2021
Historical fiction reviewer Antonia Senior said she was willing to bet on this “being the best historical crime novel I will read this year”. It follows a detective duo in Georgian London on the trail of the murderers of high-class courtesans.
Rereading: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters review, The Times, 21st September 2021
A daring novel that pickpockets from the best of Victorian fiction. Crime and passion, drama and plot twists — it’s all here. Laura Shepherd-Robinson says read it now
“My battered copy of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters made a fitting companion to the rain and gloom of London during this summer-that-never-was. For two days I breathed only the filthy air of Victorian Southwark, with its thieves’ dens and pornography shops and hanging days.”
Summer reading: the 50 hottest new books everyone should read, Guardian 5th June 2021
This intricately written and absorbing historical crime thriller spans all levels of Georgian London, as a woman with her own secrets investigates a murder in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
Interview with Sarah Hughes, The i, 12th March 2021
Laura Shepherd-Robinson never thought she would become a novelist.
“The idea of writing had always been in the back of my mind but in a very vague, ‘Oh, if this politics thing doesn’t work out or I get bored of it’ way, not exactly seriously.”
She certainly never expected her first work of historical crime fiction, Blood & Sugar, which tackled slavery, political intrigue and murder in Georgian England, to become a critically acclaimed bestseller shortlisted for a series of prestigious awards. “I was blown away by its reception,” she says, still sounding thrilled.
Her recently published second novel, Daughters of Night, is even better. Deservedly described as a strong contender for the best historical novel of the year, it is a lushly written and evocative look at Georgian society, high and low, centring on the violent death of a woman who turns out not to be quite who she claimed. It is fuelled by a quiet anger over the lack of agency available to women then, and, by implication, now.
Audiobook of the Week – Daughters of Night, The Times, 6th March 2021
Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson audiobook review – murder, vengeance and justice abound
This is a deeply satisfying tale of Georgian vice, says Christina Hardyment
Forget Georgette Heyer’s arch wit and Julia Quinn’s randy Bridgerton. Here’s an altogether murkier take on Regency shenanigans. Daughters of Night begins at a cracking pace with the murder of a high-class doxy in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and never lets up.
Review of Daughters of Night, Sunday Times, 19th February 2021
Shepherd-Robinson’s Blood & Sugar was one of the finest historical thrillers of 2019. Her second novel is longer and less gripping, but remains great entertainment.
Article about Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Express, 17th February 2021
Vauxhall pleasure gardens: Exotic secrets of the seductive fields
It was the Georgian equivalent of Disneyland – a wondrous pleasure park where people from all classes and every walk of life gathered and paid their entry fee, eager to be amazed and entertained. A multi-coloured, glowing spectacle, it featured fireworks, loud music, circus acts and illusions unlike any to be seen anywhere else in the world.
Review of Daughters of Night, The Times, 10 February 2021
Come for the clever mystery, stay reading late into the night for the vivid, tender portrayal of a world where women are bought, sold and abused, yet fight to retain their vim and dignity. I would gamble what’s left of my virtue on Daughters of Night being the best historical crime novel I will read this year.
Review of Daughters of Night, The FT, 6 February 2021
[Shepherd-Robinson] depicts Georgian society as riddled with hypocrisy, setting the investigation against a persuasive historical backdrop. [Shepherd-Robinson] would be advised to clear her shelves for more awards.
Review of Daughters of Night, BBC History Magazine, 21st January 2021
Brothels and backstreets. It’s 1782, and a young woman lies dead in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. When the Bow Street constables drop their investigation after discovering the murdered woman was a notable courtesan, Caro Corsham takes the case into her own hands. From the author of 2019’s Blood & Sugar, this journey into Georgian London’s seedy underbelly is one for fans of Harlots or Ripper Street.
75 of the best books for 2021, The i, 8th January 2021
Shepherd-Robinson builds on her addictive debut, Blood & Sugar, with this outstanding sequel in which Caroline Corsham finds herself caught in a dark tale of murder and corruption at the highest level.
Interview with Matt Nixson, Express, 22nd January 2020
Laura Shepherd-Robinson has just received an official mudlarking permit. Now the bestselling author can legally rummage around on the Thames foreshore for historical artefacts long-lost in the muck. Which all seems rather fitting given how she has already brought the 18th century river back to life in her debut novel, Blood & Sugar.
Favourite Novels Set in 18th Century, Waterstones, 16th January 2020
The Waterstones Thriller of the Month for January, Blood and Sugar, is a pulsating thriller richly evocative of the sights, sounds and smells of 18th century London. The period is one close to its author, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s heart and she has compiled this exclusive list of her favourite novels set in the 1700s.
The Best Crime Novels and Thrillers to Buy for Christmas 2019, The Telegraph, 23 December 2019
Best Crime and Thrillers of 2019, The Guardian, 30 November 2019
Audiobook Review of Blood & Sugar, The Times, 23 February 2019
Ben Onwukwe has one of the richest voices in audio, resonant, perfectly paced, whether he’s reading Frank Bruno’s autobiography or Nick Harkaway’s sci-fi Gnomon. He rises effortlessly to the challenge of this searing, ingeniously constructed story of the London arm of the 18th-century slaving business. Read more
Review of Blood & Sugar, The Daily Mail, 17 January 2019
Profits from slavery were so staggering that the battle for its abolishment was vicious. Could it be, then, that a financial imperative was behind the murder of Thaddeus Archer, barrister and known anti-slaver, in Deptford Dock in 1781? Read more
Review of Blood & Sugar, The Sunday Times, 11 January 2019
Blood & Sugar, a historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson, plunges the reader into the murky, world of the London slave trade at the end of the 18th century. Read more
Review of Blood & Sugar, Financial Times, 4 January 2019
When historical crime fiction arrives with an encomium from the doyen of the genre, CJ Sansom, attention must be paid. And this debut by a young British writer has set the bar high for her peers in 2019. Read more
Mantle acquires two historical crime leads in ‘hotly contested’ auction, The Bookseller, 3 July 2018
Mantle has acquired two historical crime thrillers by debut author Laura Shepherd-Robinson in a “hotly contested” auction, earmarked to be “lead hardbacks” for January 2019 and 2020. Read more